If you remember the before photo of my kitchen from my last column, you know that the overall goal was to open up the space. But my goal for the style was purely personal: I wanted a warm, modern, eclectic, glam kitchen. No surprise there!

How did I achieve that?

I’ll admit, achieving a look is often easier said than done. It’s almost like being a kid in a candy store: Where to begin? From the first piece, each choice would influence the next, and the possibilities were endless as I considered all of the cabinets, flooring materials, countertops and backsplashes.


It wasn’t until I found something I absolutely loved that all the decisions became easy. My subsequent choices fell into place and added up to the style I wanted.


Guess what the starting point was?

Of course it’s the backsplash! It was love at first sight. It’s made of hundreds of handmade glass mosaic tiles from Italy — very expensive at over $100 a square foot, but I didn’t need much and this would anchor the look of the kitchen.

You can see some of the depth and texture inside the tiles. It almost looks like each one has thumbprints, so that each tile catches the light with its own movement and texture.

How was this a great starting point?


First, the color. The warm champagne tone inspired me to juxtapose with a cool white quartz countertop and creamy marble floor and enhance with warm wood tones in the cabinetry.

Second, since there is no pattern to the back-splash, it’s simple and modern. And the tiles’ reflective nature gives it the glam that I was looking for.

Next time, I’ll show you the final reveal and you’ll see how all the finishes come together to create a cohesive style. So whatever space you’re designing, find a piece or a finish that speaks to you, and let the rest fall into place from there — even if it’s something as simple as a backsplash.


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info, visit And keep up with Cathy’s dream home makeover at her photo blog, Homefront.